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In this course, Dennis Taylor shows how to analyze and communicate the value of data with charts in Excel. The course starts with the foundations: what the parts of a chart are, what the different types of charts are, and which charts work best for your data. The course then shows how to create a presentation-ready chart in minutes and offers dozens of in-depth tutorials on formatting and fine-tuning charts so they represent data clearly and accurately.
When you're using a chart that's on a worksheet, or possibly many charts on a worksheet as we see in this example in this particular worksheet called YearData, there are four different charts here. Now you've got complete control over the placement of the charts. You can move a chart. Any of these charts can be moved to any position you want simply by dragging a border. You can resize a chart. You can make a copy of a chart. All these things we need to be able to do. These are actually dragging choices that we don't actually use a menu on. So let's just click, for example, in this chart here, as I just did. I want to move this chart to the right of the pie chart.
Now you can drag from anywhere in the chart area, but sometimes when you're doing this you happen to click on the wrong spot. So if I happened to click here and drag-- maybe I am kind of in hurry when I do this-- I'm moving the Plot area. Or maybe if I did this, I'm moving the legend or something. You can do that, and sometimes you want to do that. But if you want to move the chart--let me press Ctrl+Z a couple of times to undo those actions. It's probably easiest to get in the habit, after selecting the chart, to simply drag one of the borders, and you drag it right, left, down, upright, wherever you want to.
I want to move the pie chart leftward. I'll drag its border. And you can do it in one fluid action. You can both select it and drag it at the same time if you wish. Sometimes you want to resize a chart. For example, I might want to move this chart over here a bit and then make it larger, because I don't think I can see the detail enough. And maybe for whatever reason as I make it larger, how do we do that? We can drag any corner-- when you put the mouse on a corner you'll see a diagonal arrow--or a side--you either see a horizontal arrow this way, vertical arrow down here.
We can make this chart taller, shorter. We can make it wider or narrower or drag it from the corner. As we drag from the corner, we could possibly make it wider or taller or and so on. And if you worked with objects at all in either Excel, Word, or PowerPoint, these are familiar techniques that you've probably used already. If you want to maintain the same ratio of height to width, it's called the aspect ratio, as you drag one of the corners, you can also hold down the Shift key. So as I'm dragging this corner here back and forth, I cannot make it wider without it getting taller, or narrower without it getting shorter.
So I'm holding down Shift as I'm dragging the corner and when I let go of the mouse it will have got larger or smaller, but the proportion of height to width will have stayed the same. Now rarely but occasionally you might want to make a chart larger or smaller and keep it around the same center. I think you're more likely to want to do that with objects, but if we drag any edge or corner here and we're holding down the Ctrl key, we're going to be making this taller, smaller, but the same center is here. Now I'm just moving the mouse here like I've got nothing else to do, but I'm holding down the Ctrl key, and you see what could be happening.
If I let go with the mouse before the keyboard, I will have resized this in whatever way I want to. So sometimes that's relevant. Perhaps more relevant though is the idea that if you have a certain idea that this should look a little neater and tidier in terms of layout, you might want to have the edges of the chart line up with the cell boundaries in the worksheet. I'd suggest doing this on corners rather than sides, but you can do it either way. As I drag this corner here, I can take it anywhere I want. But if I hold down the Alt key while doing this, it only lets the borders line up with cell boundaries.
So I did it there. Click outside this; you'll see what it has done. You'll see that it's just perfect. I'll do the lower-left corner as well, maybe right here. Move this around anywhere I want, but if I'm holding down the Alt key, it's going to line up perfectly this way. So maybe I want to do that, or maybe take it down to here. I'm thinking of the other charts, and so on. This is little tedious maybe, but it does give you a quick way to do that. Maybe I'll do it this way. So I'm dragging an edge, any edge or corner, holding down the Alt key, makes the edges of the chart line up perfectly with the cell boundaries. And any of these techniques that we use with the Alt key, Ctrl key, or Shift key be sure to let go with the mouse first before the actual key itself for the feature to in effect stay.
And one other feature here, too, is we've already talked about moving, but sometimes you want to make a copy of a chart, and once you have become familiar with how easy it is to change a chart type, sometimes you say well, okay I like this chart, but I'd also like to have a column chart next to it. Why don't we just drag the edge of this chart over here, but this time be holding down the Ctrl key, as I'm doing right now. Drag it over here. Let go with the mouse. There's a copy. We don't want to keep two identical charts here, so we'll simply change, by way of the Design Tab, change the Chart Type of this one to maybe something completely different, maybe one of these here, which I don't really like, but the idea is you can easily copy a chart and possibly change the chart type.
And if the chart that you drag that did have a lot of labels on it already, a lot of text information, that's going to go with it as it did here, although we didn't have a lot going on at that point, but still, that's going to happen as well. So no shortage of techniques, generally dragging techniques they are called for copying charts, moving charts, and/or adjusting the size of charts on a worksheet.
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